Animals & Wildlife Magazine

Is the Internet Good for Writing? Part 1: Affirmative – Lingua Franca – The Chronicle of Higher Education

By Garry Rogers @Garry_Rogers

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GarryRogers.comTaking this side of the question is Clive Thompson, author of the new book Smarter Than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds for the Better. Thompson says he is “regularly astonished by the quality and length of expression I find online, the majority of which is done by amateurs in their spare time.”

The length part, at least, is inarguable. Thompson, a journalist who has specialized in covering technology, asserts, “Before the Internet came along, most people rarely wrote anything at all for pleasure or intellectual satisfaction after graduating from high school or college.” Now, according to his back-of-the-envelope cyphering, people compose about 3.6 trillion words a day via e-mail, blogs, and social media—the equivalent of 36 million books, give or take.

So, does frequent writing provide beneficial practice and improvement regardless of length?

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